High school sweethearts Eddie and Susie Barbieri talk about long-lasting love

(WXYZ) - This Valentine's Day, not many people can say they met the love of their lives at the tender age of 14.

One teenage boy was so smitten by a sophomore, he went home and told his mother he had met his future wife.

It was Eddie Barbieri's first day of school at Grosse Point North High School  when he saw a beautiful sophomore drop a pencil as she was walking up the stairs.

"I saw her in B Building going up the stairs in school," said Barbieri.  "I saw her and I'll be honest… she was the prettiest thing I ever saw.  From that moment on I was like, that's the girl."

That day he went home and told his mother all about his crush, 15-year-old Suzie Vincent.

"When he came, I said how did your day at school go and the first thing that came out of his mouth was: 'you are not going to believe this… but I met the girl today that I'm going to marry,'" said Eddie's mother Jodi Barbieri.  "I thought he had lost his mind.  I couldn't stop laughing."

Eddie fell head over heels for 15-year-old Suzie Vincent, but had to work hard to get her.

"I remember hearing that this freshman kid Eddie Barbieri likes you and he's talking about you," said Suzie Barbieri.

Eddie and Suzie  quickly became friends, but a young Eddie kept hoping for more.

"She did not like me at all," said Eddie Barbieri.  "I was only a freshman she was a year older.  She had all the older boyfriends…so the odds were against me."

He would often ask his friends for advice on how to get Suzie to be his girlfriend and then came the moment he had been waiting for.

"Kind of hit me one day," said Suzie Barbieri.   "He grabbed me and kissed me and that was the beginning, I guess."

"At the end of the school year,  Suzie Vincent was going out with Eddie Barbieri," said Jodi Barbieri.

The high school sweethearts went away to different colleges.  Eddie went to University of Michigan – Dearborn and Suzie ventured on to Central Michigan University, but the couple never grew apart.

In fact, they got closer.

After graduating, they tied the knot.

Twenty years of marriage and four kids later they are still in love. 

Looking back, they know what they have is special.

"It's a lot to look back on," said Suzie Barbieri.  "It's gone by so fast and everybody says that's cliche.  You know, don't blink your life goes by in a minute. Having four kids… it's gone by fast."

Ed Barbieri, who runs restaurants in the Detroit Metro Area, says the secret to staying strong for decades is devoting time to themselves and their children.

Though there are ups and downs in any partnership, their love story is the glue that holds them together.

"Sometimes when I do get mad, I do get aggravated… I  think about the time that i did see her on those steps."

The Barbieris will be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary with a couple of milestones this year. Their youngest will have his communion soon and their oldest  will graduate from high school.

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